Clarity is Key in Communication

Sometimes you hear a story and it just demonstrates a point so well that you have to share.


This weekend I was at a Halloween party and somehow we got on the topic of fires in the home.  One woman was talking about how her stove caught on fire and she called the fire department, but they got lost and couldn’t find her house so she had to put it out herself.


Another woman said her house caught on fire and she was able to get her husband and boys out.  After the firemen got there she turned to her husband and said, “Oh my gosh, we have to get mom – she’s still in there!”


One of the firemen overheard and said, “Don’t worry ma’am we’ll get her.  Just tell us where she is”


She replied, “On the bookcase in the living room”


He stopped and looked at her and said, “Next time, please be a little more clear.”


True story, I promise.


She knew exactly what she meant, her husband knew what she meant and she was clear in her own mind.


The fireman had a different perception and interpreted her statement based on this.


Sometimes when we communicate we know our message and how we want to say it; however we fail to think about the perspective of others.  This isn’t something we can always control.


It is something to consider when given the opportunity to prepare.  When constructing our networking elevator speech or preparing for an interview think about the environment.  How might someone interpret your thoughts or statements based upon what they are used to encountering or dealing with on a day to day basis.  It might help you adjust something just a tiny bit but could make a world of difference.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.



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